Both of Baylor’s coordinators from 2016 have found new jobs.
Arizona State announced Wednesday it had hired former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett.
“I’ve known [Arizona State head coach] Todd Graham for a long time and I love his passion for the game of football,” Bennett said in a statement. “It’s like any situation in that I think I can help get ASU back to championship football. I’ve watched them play and I know ASU is not far away. The program has great support from its administration and fan base. I’m very excited to begin this part of my life.”
His optimism about the Arizona State defense is heartwarming. The Sun Devils missed a bowl game in 2016 and had one of the worst defenses in college football. ASU gave up over seven yards a play and 520 yards a game last season. Only Texas Tech gave up more yards per game, though Texas Tech gave up slightly fewer yards per play (7.05), than the Sun Devils did (7.07). Only Rice, at 7.43 yards per play, was worse than Arizona State in that statistic.
Baylor’s coaching staff had to find new jobs at the end of the 2016 season after the school hired former Temple coach Matt Rhule. When Baylor fired coach Art Briles in the May after an investigation into the way the school and football program handled accusations of sexual assault, the coaching staff otherwise remained largely intact.
Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, Art’s son, will be the offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic under Lane Kiffin in 2017.
Bennett came to Baylor after he was at Pitt for three seasons as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator.
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